‘Monkeygate’: Harbhajan Singh denies he 'broke down' after Andrew Symonds' claim

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 16 December 2018, 10:13 PM
Harbhajan was suspended for three matches. But the ban was overturned after Indian team lodged a protest. (File)
Harbhajan was suspended for three matches. But the ban was overturned after Indian team lodged a protest. (File)

Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday denied that he broke down while apologising to former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds for ‘monkeygate’. While speaking to his former teammates Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee for a documentary to be aired on 'Fox Sports', Symonds said Harbhajan Singh "broke down crying" while making peace after the infamous 'monkeygate' episode had sent the former Australian all-rounder into a downward spiral.

Ten years after the infamous Sydney Test, where Harbhajan was accused of calling Symonds a "monkey", the Australian said they emotionally called a truce three years later. The pair buried the hatchet while turning up for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

"...He actually broke down crying, and I could just see that was a huge weight off his shoulders, he had to get rid of it. We shook hands and I gave him a hug and said: 'Mate, it's all good. It's dealt with'," Symonds said.

Harbhajan was suspended for three matches. But the ban was overturned after Indian team lodged a protest in what was an all-time low in India-Australia cricket relations.

"We go to a very wealthy man's place for a barbecue, drinks and dinner one night and the whole team's there and he had guests there, and Harbhajan said 'mate, can I speak to you for a minute out in the garden out the front'.

"He goes, 'look, I've got to say sorry to you for what I did to you in Sydney. I apologise, I hope I didn't cause you, your family, your friends too much harm and I really apologise for what I said, I shouldn't have said it'," Symonds added.

Responding to a news report on Symonds’ statement, Harbhajan took to Twitter on Sunday and questioned what the Australian cricketer had said. “WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN ??? BROKE DOWN ???? WHAT FOR ??? Harbhajan broke down when apologising for ‘monkeygate’,” he wrote.

Later, Harbhajan came out with another tweet, saying: “I thought he was a very good cricketer but Symonds has turned out to be a good fiction writer - he sold a story then (2008) and he is ‘selling a story’ now (2018). Mate, the world has come of age in these 10 years and it’s time you also grew up.”

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:10 PM
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